Enforcement of Employer Commuter Benefit Requirement

On August 16, 2019, the D.C. Department of Employment Services published final regulations related to the enforcement of the existing commuter benefits requirement. Since January 1, 2016, employers with 20 or more employees in D.C. must offer access to one or more transit benefit options. All employees working 50% or more of their service time in D.C. are counted. Those options are:

  • Employee pays pre-tax contributions for transit benefits
  • Employer pays transit benefit costs for employees (either through reimbursement or the provision of pre-paid metro cards)
  • Employer provides transportation through a shuttle or vanpool

The employer must:

  • Notify employees of the available transit benefit program (read the notice here)
  • Provide information to covered employees on how to apply and receive benefits
  • Issue benefits to covered employees that request or apply for them
  • Maintain records to establish compliance with the requirements
  • Record that notice was given to employees
  • Records showing that elected benefits were provided

Under the final regulations, effective November 14, 2019, the penalties for failure to comply are: $100 for the first offense; $200 for the second; $400 for the third; and $800 for the fourth and subsequent offenses. Please note: an offense is considered each employee per month that is not offered at least one qualified transportation program benefit.

Notice of Final Rulemaking »